Monday, February 4, 2013

Dream Weaver


Oh, I know, other people's dreams really are dull, and mine are no exception.  Even so, I'm going to beg your indulgence and hope that you gentle readers might help me parse out one I've been having lately.

Maybe it's just a delayed reaction to reading her obituaries last summer, or maybe it's just the effects of reading too many show-biz bios, but she keeps popping up.  Usually, I'm in some random situation from everyday life, albeit one that has, for no good reason, become peppered with the great names of cinema. For example, in one I was a waiter (which I was, once upon a time, by the bye, and a damn good one), at a smart urban joint waiting on a very chummy Bette Davis and Joan Crawford (BD circa 1943 and JC 'round about 1970, it seemed, but it didn't faze me at the time) having a girls' lunch out.  As I hand them the check, I say, "Boy, that Celeste Holm sure was a bitch, wasn't she?"  Surprised expressions all around, a couple of raised eyebrows of agreement, and curtain.

In another, I am playing bridge with Gloria Swanson and a couple of Waxworks, and apropos of nothing, during a lull in a conversation about real estate (the consensus: sell), ask the same question.  Miss Swanson looks disapproving, as if she believing that if someone were to make such observations, it should be she.

Then there's the one where I'm rehearsing a dance number with Charlotte Greenwood and Kay Thompson (and there's an unpicturesque trio - with me standing between them, we'd look like the number 101) and I stop the piano player to demand of my partners, "Tell the truth - was Celeste Holm the biggest bitch you ever worked with or was she not?"

Finally, and most chillingly, there's the one in which I don't remember of whom I ask the fateful question (Margaret Rutherford? Theda Bara? Nancy Kulp?), but after doing so I turn and realize that standing behind me is... Celeste Holm.  And in that moment I know, in a flash of shock and fear, that "bitch" doesn't begin to describe it.

Sometimes I think I need to drink more before bedtime.  What do you think?

10 comments:

  1. Met her at the York Theatre some recent year ago. She had the look of someone who wasn't sure if she was supposed to know me or not when I said hello. Of course, she shouldn't have known me as I am not anybody. But then again, she also had the look of someone who wasn't quite sure who she herself was.

    I have a customer who is married to one of Ms. Holm's nephews. Have never heard anecdotal evidence of bitchiness.

    And if drinking before bed gave me dreams like that, I'd have a wet bar for a nightstand.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think my impression of her disposition was set many years ago, when she participated in a tribute to the then Princess Grace in the latter's hometown, Philadelphia. Some college chums got the plum job of dogsbodying the visiting celebrities, and one pal, a courtly Southern boy, got Miss Holm. Ever after, all it took to get him pale and trembling in remembered fear was to mention her name...

      Delete
  2. I once dreamt I was at Buckingham Palace with the Queen Mother, Yoko Ono and Diane Keaton. Perhaps it's further proof that homosexuality (and fabulousness) is genetic.

    ReplyDelete
  3. don't bother drinking, use enemas.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Many years ago I had the opportunity to interview Vincent Price. He was performing his one man show in Oscar Wilde and had been booked thought a cluster of smallish towns in Ohio with grand movie palaces. Marion Ohio has just that. It must have been 1979 or 1980. What I remember is how gray his complexion was, how huge and meaty his hand was when he took mine in a handshake, and how he seemed to look through my clothing. Be hat this has to do with Celeste Holm, I have no idea, just nought I share it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great. Now I'll still be dreaming of Celeste, but now she'll have huge, meaty Vincent Price hands. That's not creepy; not at all...

      Delete
  5. What utterly marvelous dreams! Mine are almost never so good although I do recall one where my beloved Linda Darnell was chatting with the almost as loved Priscilla Lane both dripping in jewels at the racetrack where I was the bet runner! The shrewish Miss Holm, always so warm and lovely on screen apparently the extreme opposite in real life, was fortunately nowhere in sight.

    Back to your dreams all sound sensational but my fav is the Charlotte Greenwood/Kay Thompson dance routine. I adore that Aunt Eller.

    ReplyDelete
  6. One fabulous black and white dream (thank you, Trazadone!), I was fighting the fifth column at the 1939 New York World's Fair (rather disloyal, me living in San Francisco and all) with the help of Carole Lombard and Cary Grant. I don't remember how we made out with the Nazis, but Cary and I made out just fine, and we didn't need Technicolor at all to enjoy those fireworks. No wonder Randy Scott stayed loyal all those years!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is the the movie that Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow should have been. And now with any luck at all I'll have Cary-Randy dreams, too!

      Delete